Chronic pelvic pain affects many women and men. There are a number of different issues that can cause pelvic pain, and it is often challenging to diagnose. If you suffer from pelvic pain that has lasted over six months and has not responded to conventional treatment, it is time to look towards incorporating some holistic treatments including yoga poses to relieve pelvic pain.
What causes pelvic pain? Often multiple issues can contribute cause pelvic pain: from weak or tense pelvis floor muscles to varicose veins to menstrual problems in women to prostate problems in men. Often the problem stem from anxiety and stress, causing a “headache in the pelvis.” One thing that is for sure is that chronic pelvic pain can be debilitating, and the frustration and stress of dealing with such a challenging health problem can lead to depression. In fact it is estimated that 80 to 90% of chronic pelvic pain patient suffer from depression. In severe cases, taking antidepressants can improve pain levels and pain tolerance.
Doing yoga poses to relieve pelvic pain should not replace other treatments but instead should be used in conjunction with other holistic treatments as well as conventional medical treatments. You may have to attack pelvic pain through multiple angles such as other low-impact exercises, diet, medication, physical therapy, stress management and even cognitive therapy.
If you do start to experience relief, continuing to do yoga poses to relieve pelvic pain is important. A yoga home program is perfect for maintaining the health of your nervous and musculoskeletal systems, even after your pain has healed.
Yoga Poses to Relieve Pelvic Pain
You can do these yoga poses and stretches three days a week or even daily. For more moves, see an experienced yoga instructor.
Bound Angle Pose
Sit tall with your legs straight out in front of you. You can raise your pelvis on a blanket if your hips or groins are tight. Exhale. Bending your knees, pull your heels toward your pelvis and then drop your knees out to the sides and press the soles of your feet together.
Bring your heels in as close to your pelvis as you comfortably can. Grasp the big toe of each foot, keeping the outer edges of the feet firmly on the floor. If you can’t hold the toes, clasp each hand around the same-side ankle or shin.
Sit so that your pubis in front and the tailbone in back are equidistant from the floor. The perineum should be parallel to the floor and the pelvis in a neutral position. With shoulders back, lengthen the front torso. Never force your knees down. If you release the heads of the thigh bones toward the floor, then the knees will follow.
Stay in this pose from 1 to 5 minutes. Then inhale, lift your knees away from the floor, and extend the legs back to their original position. Another pose you can read about in yoga for pain relief is the reclining hand-to-big-toe pose.
You may have been told to do Kegels to help with urinary incontinence, but if you suffer from very tight pelvic floor muscles, Kegels could be making your pelvic pain problem worse. The reverse Kegel helps you to consciously release your pelvic floor muscles. Imagine that your anal area is a rose bud. You want to release that tight rose bud into a fully opened rose. For five breaths, breathe in for 5 to 7 seconds, sending your inhaled breath to your sphincter muscles, willing the “rose” to open petal by petal.
You can do reverse Kegels while doing the following two moves. You can do this several times per day and should feel the muscles become more relaxed in that area. You can learn more about this in this book, Ending Male Pelvic Pain, by Isa Herrera, MSPT, CSCS.
Incorporate the Reverse Kegel into the following two yoga moves.
Get onto your hands and knees and then leaving your arms forward, bring your body back as you sit your bottom on your feet, head down. If your sit bones do not reach your feet, prop pillows under your feet. As you breathe in for 5 seconds, imagine that your sit bones are moving away from each other as you feel your muscles relax. Do this for 5 breaths.
Prayer Squat Release
With feet shoulder-width apart, out at an angle, and keeping heels on the floor, squat down. Keeping palms together in the prayer position place elbows out towards the knees. Do not hold your breath. Send your incoming breath to your pelvic muscles, focusing on relaxing them.
There are many more yoga poses to relieve pelvic pain, but these can get you started by relaxing tight muscles. Continue to work with your doctor on other treatments for relieving your pain. Be patient. Healing pelvic pain can take time, but with the right combination of holistic treatment and conventional care, you will see a light at the end of this tunnel.